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Topic outline

  • Brief information on the Funding Opportunity

    Program: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)    |  Call ID: HORIZON-CL5-2023-D6-01-09
    Geographical coverage: EU

    Available contribution M€: The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 14.00 million. The Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 7.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.

    Deadlines: 05 September 2023 17:00:00 Brussels time

    Type of Action: Innovation Action (IA)

    TRL: Activities are expected to achieve TRL 7 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

    For more information on meanings of TRL, Type of Project and General Rules, please refer to the General Annexes of the Work Programme:  Link to the General Annexes of the Work Programme

  • Partners Profiles

  • Partner Search

  • Expected Outcomes

    Projects are expected to contribute to ALL of the following outcomes (with a clear baseline for each use case):

    • Ensure resilience of infrastructure of a) seaports, b) connected inland waterways infrastructure c) connected hinterland land infrastructure, to extreme weather events by assuring at least 80% operability during the disruptions.
    • Contribute with at least 20% increase in modal shift of port hinterland connections towards zero- and low-emission transport systems.
    • Ensure safe port access and port operations by avoiding extra accidents as a consequence of disruptions caused by a changing climate.
    • Minimise environmental impact (e.g. emissions, soil/water pollution, degradation of ecosystems and fragmentation of habitats and biodiversity loss, as foreseen in the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030) during construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of the infrastructure by going beyond the EU environmental legislation.
    • Present guidelines describing measures (structural, operational and institutional) to address climate risks and hazards, and provide guidance on how to screen and evaluate options.

  • Scope

    Research is needed in order to limit transport infrastructure vulnerability to climate change and other natural or human caused disruptions. Making infrastructures more resilient to climate change should focus on improving the ability of the transport infrastructure network to withstand disruption, adapt to changing conditions under extreme circumstances while maintaining its performance. The goal is to strengthen infrastructure reliability, improve its performance under extreme circumstances thus increasing the resilience of the whole transport system.

    Sea ports and waterways around the world are experiencing air and water temperature increases, rising sea levels, changes in seasonal precipitation and wind and wave conditions. Many are also seeing more frequent and severe extreme events such as storms, flash floods, prolonged heatwaves and droughts. Climate change represents a significant risk to business, operations, safety and infrastructure – and hence to local, national and European economies.

    Extreme weather events affect transport infrastructures and their management. Even if infrastructures are designed to cope with various stresses along their life, the increase of frequency and severity of extreme weather events will, increase their deterioration pace and increase possibility of accidents that may become more frequent due to adverse weather conditions. Sea ports and connected inland waterways are particularly exposed to extreme weather events and are very important for the local and global economy, since nearly 80% of world freight is transported by ship. Seaports of Europe are gateways to other continents. 74% of extra-EU goods are shipped through ports. They are also important for intra-Europeantrade: 37% of the intra-EU freight traffic and 385 million passengers pass by ports every year. A 50% growth of cargo handled in EU ports is predicted by 2030.

    Port and waterway operators need to take urgent action to strengthen resilience and adapt. As costal structures, seaports and connected inland waterways are exposed to storm surges and sea level rise and are vulnerable to flooding. Climate change is expected to have more severe impacts in northern Europe, where Europe’s top 20 cargo seaports are located. In total, 852 ports face the risk of inundation in 2080 and the number of seaports to be exposed to inundation levels higher than 1m is projected to increase by 80% from 2030 to 2080. The number of ports that face the risk of inundation is expected to increase by more than 50% from 2030 to 2080. This trend is even stronger on the North Sea coast, where according to the GISCO database over 500 ports are located with traffic accounting for up to 15% of the world’s cargo transport (EUCC-D, 2013). In total, 852 important ports face the risk of inundation by the end of the century is 852.

    At the same time when focusing at a resilient and performing transport infrastructure, its environmental footprint, resource and material consumption and habitat fragmentation and biodiversity degradation should be reduced to a minimum. The goal is smart, green, sustainable, climate-resilient and biodiversity friendly infrastructure.

    Proposals will develop and validate new solutions to increase resilience, efficiency, inter-modality and safety of the transport system, for passengers and freight.

  • Proposals will have to address all the following points

    • Develop solutions for ensuring the performance and safety of a) seaports, b) connected inland waterways infrastructure c) connected hinterland land infrastructure, during periods of extreme weather events.
    • Develop strategies minimising capacity loss of infrastructures during disruptive events, securing infrastructure assets or delivering the necessary redundancy or adaptive capacity when at the same time avoiding over-designing, adopting an inappropriate or irreversible design, based on vulnerability analysis and risk assessment.
    • Demonstrate solutions to interconnect infrastructure health monitoring, traffic management and emergency management systems to support informed decision making during and after these events, also supporting possible redistribution of freight and passengers flows to complementary infrastructures. Solutions for rail to be harmonised with EU-Rail Programme projects implementing the Flagship Area 5.
    • Build on innovative solutions for surveillance and prediction of climate change effects, such as the Destination Earth digital twins, and for identification of infrastructure points particularly vulnerable to climate change. Proposals should develop cross-modal strategies to upgrade (including physical upgrade) existing infrastructures and reduce their vulnerability, while using sustainable materials and construction techniques.
    • Develop novel and improved governance models that enable cooperation across institutional, modal and national boundaries to cope with large-scale shocks and disruptions.
    • Develop standard procedures and methodologies to foster the implementation of measures (structural, operational, institutional and social) to address climate risks and hazards. Include at least three pilot demonstrations of the proposed solutions in operational environment (minimum at TRL7) for three seaports with connected inland waterways infrastructure on CEF corridors. The pilots should select the most effective measures and combinations of measures and determine how and when they can best be implemented over time as conditions change.
    • Evaluate the qualitative and quantitative impact of the proposed measures with a clear baseline for each pilot demonstration.
    • Innovative infrastructure solutions should contribute to lowering the environmental footprint, resources and material consumption. Exploring Nature-based solutions (NBS) is an opportunity for creating sustainable, climate-resilient European transport infrastructure in a cost-effective manner, while producing substantial social, economic, and environmental co-benefits. The goal is smart, green, sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure, planned in a way that maximises positive impact on economic growth and minimises the negative impact on the environment and, significant and lasting degradation of ecosystems, fragmentation of habitats or loss of biodiversity, promoting environmentally friendly modes of transport and leading to the reduction of transport emissions.
    • If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries are expected to describe how the use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS are incorporated in the proposed solutions.
    • Proposals should also consider results from previous calls on infrastructure resilience construction and sustainable construction and should uptake relevant EU guidance on development and management of European transport infrastructures.

  • This topic was introduced in the Horizon Europe info days - Cluster 5, you can find the video and presenation below

  • ALICE Brokerage in-person event Horizon Europe calls 2023-2024, Feb 28, 2023